The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority’s (SFRTA) mission is to provide greater mobility in South Florida, thus improving the economic viability and the quality of the Community, Region and State. SFRTA operates the Tri-Rail Commuter Rail System. SFRTA, per its legislation, is charged with the responsibility of having the overall authority to coordinate, develop and operate a regional transportation system within the area served. The following projects are included in SFRTA’s Capital Budget and Five Year Plan in the Fiscal Year 2017 thru 2021 period.
THE TRI-RAIL COASTAL LINK
The planned Tri-Rail Coastal Link service on the Florida East Coast (FEC) railway is a strategic investment for Southeast Florida and has the ability to enhance the long-term competitive position of our region. The Coastal Link will generate an extensive range of benefits that go beyond the direct impacts of any individual project, including spurring economic development, creating jobs, improving regional access and mobility, and providing opportunities for transit-oriented development. The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) along with our partners at the Miami- Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), the Southeast Florida Transportation Council (SEFTC), and the South Florida and Treasure Coast Regional Planning Councils are working diligently to make the Coastal Link service a reality in South Florida.
FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION (FTA) GRANT, PILOT PROGRAM FOR TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT (TOD)
SFRTA received a $1.25 million FTA grant in September 2015, for TOD planning along the proposed Tri-Rail Coastal Link (TRCL) commuter rail line. SFRTA will partner with the South Florida Regional Planning Council and Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council to complete the study. The work will include comprehensive station area planning, an infrastructure assessment, station- area bicycle and pedestrian planning, an affordable housing analysis, and will explore creation of a regional TOD Fund. Earlier market and economic analysis of the potential development TRCL could generate identified station-area residential and commercial development in the billions of dollars. The TOD work will provide the region with suggestions on how to realize that economic potential and increase livability and quality of life in South Florida.
TRI-RAIL REAL-TIME PASSENGER INFORMATION SYSTEM (RTPIS), INCLUDING SMART PHONE APPLICATION
SFRTA’s RTPIS will provide train locations and predicted arrival times at each station via the internet, smartphone app, telephone, text message, and LCD displays location on the station platforms. The system will include onboard signage and an audio system on train cars to display and announce next station arrival and destination information. The train-tracking component is expected to be available via internet and smartphone app in 2016.
TRI-RAIL STATION AND PARKING LOT IMPROVEMENTS
SFRTA’s parking and Circulation Study evaluated parking facilities and various other passenger amenities (i.e. bike racks, signage, trash receptacles and benches, etc.) at all Tri-Rail stations. As a result of the study, recommended parking, access and miscellaneous improvements and upgrades to various Tri-Rail stations are programmed for implementation in the next five years. This also includes Pedestrian Bridge repairs, Station Painting and ADA access evaluations and improvements.
MIAMI RIVER-MIAMI INTERMODAL CENTER CAPACITY IMPROVEMENT
Just north of the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC), the South Florida Rail Corridor (SFRC) is limited to a single track across the Miami River, resulting in a critical capacity constraint. Funding for this project will complete Phase 2 of the Miami River-Miami Intermodal Center Capacity Improvement project PD&E study. The project’s purpose is to add rail capacity across the Miami River and the last mile of the SFRC which will greatly improve access and connectivity to the MIC. This project will improve SFRC capacity for Tri-Rail and freight trains, potentially accommodate new Amtrak intercity and high speed service at the MIC, and improve connections between rail and air travel.
OPA LOCKA PARKING IMPROVEMENTS
The design and construction of the additional parking lot includes improved existing bus waiting and kiss-n-ride areas; increased signage and striping to improve vehicular circulation throughout; and enhanced pedestrian amenities and connection to the station. The existing parking capacity to the station is 72 spaces and 4 bus bays. The improvements will increase parking capacity to meet the year 2020 projection of 115-130 parking spaces for this station. Construction is anticipated Fall 2016.
POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL
SFRTA plans to install Positive Train Control on all trains. Positive Train Control (PTC) systems are integrated command, control, communications, and information systems for controlling train movements with safety, security, precision, and efficiency. PTC systems will improve railroad safety by significantly reducing the probability of collisions between trains, casualties to roadway workers and damage to their equipment, and over speed accidents. In addition to providing a greater level of safety and security, PTC systems also enable a railroad to run scheduled operations and provide improved running time, greater running time reliability, higher asset utilization, and greater track capacity. They will assist railroads in measuring and managing costs and in improving energy efficiency.
PLANNING AND CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
SFRTA’s short and long term planning efforts and activities conducted by the Planning Department are included in this line item. This item facilitates the performance of planning and capital development studies and projects such as the Transit Development Plan (TDP), the development of a station-area Transit Oriented Development (TOD) plan Tri-Rail stations, South Florida East Coast Corridor (FEC) Transit Analysis Study and other studies and plans.
GENERAL ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS
This budget item provides funding for the hiring of General Engineering Consultants. All contracts are work-order based. Design work in support of capital projects such as parking and station improvements.
OPERATION DEPARTMENT PROJECTS
Included as part of SFRTA’s budget line item for operational support projects, are miscellaneous improvements at the Hialeah Yard such as rewiring of the mechanical shop, and wrapping of train with the Tri-Rail logo. By the end of the year, the Tri- rail system plans to have 10 bike cars. One designated bike car will be added to a train.
ROLLING STOCK OVERHAUL / SPARE PARTS
Rolling stock is one of SFRTA’s major capital investments and must be well maintained to maximize its service life. SFRTA’s capital budget includes a line item that funds the overhaul and rehabilitation of rail equipment, the purchase of spare components, painting of rail equipment, and other train related maintenance items.
PROGRAM OF PROJECTS
SFRTA receives annual Federal Appropriations Sections 5307 and 5337 funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This funding is programmed in SFRTA’s Capital and Operating Budget to include preventive maintenance costs, such items as rolling stock maintenance, station maintenance, wayfinding, transit enhancements, general engineering consultants, and transit oriented development, which are allowable expenditures of funds under FTA guidelines.